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READING: Philippians 1-2 – Paul’s Prayer, Circumstances, & Mind of Christ


This is another of Paul’s prison epistles, sent to Philippi to all the saints with the bishops and deacons. It is basically a letter of appreciation, an explanation of his circumstances, encouragement, and urging two ladies to be of the same mind in the Lord. Paul had a long history with this church. They sent support to him in Thessalonica, Corinth, and most recently to him in prison. 

He told them how he was praying for them with joy and expressed confidence that “the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” His confidence lay in their sharing in God’s grace in his imprisonment and in defending and confirming the gospel. His prayer for them was that “Your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless.” 

As to his circumstances, he said “what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel.” It is known throughout the imperial guard and to everyone that his imprisonment is for Christ. Most of the brothers dare to speak the word with greater boldness because of Paul. He recognized some proclaimed Christ from envy and selfish ambition, but others out of love, knowing Paul was always ready to defend the gospel. He rejoiced that Christ was being preached in each case, whether from false motives or true. In that, he rejoiced. 

He expressed confidence that their prayers would make things turn out well for him, that preaching Christ boldly, even from prison, would exalt Christ in his body, “whether by life or by death. For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor; and I do not know which I prefer. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, but to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.” 

Then he charged them, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; it is God who is at work in you, enabling you to will and to work for His good pleasure.” 

He hoped to send Timothy to them soon and thought it best to send Epaphroditus back to them. He had come to Paul with their gift. But he had been sick and near death. The Philippians had learned of this, which distressed him so that he longed to see them so that they could rejoice again in each other’s presence. Paul said Epaphroditus had risked his life to provide the services the Philippians could not themselves give to Paul. 

This is a letter of rejoicing in the Lord and with His people. 

This is the way Christianity is supposed to work

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, my prayer is that You might give me the grace You worked within the Philippian church. You gave them such a blessing that they shared with each other and with Paul who had brought the gospel to them in the beginning. This is my petition, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we quit thinking of ourselves so we might be servants to others, as were Jesus and the church at Philippi. I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

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